In the Milwaukee, WI market in March, closings of new homes sank year-over-year, a shift downward off a hike in February 2016. New home closings saw a 31.8% fall from a year earlier to 30. This followed a 3.6% rise year-over-year in February.

A total of 463 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 477 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 1.6% of overall housing closings. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 2.2% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, there was a 1.4% lift year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $353,252 per unit. This gain is smaller than the 8.9% surge in February year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes sank year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. The average mortgage size fell to $308,496 in March, marking a 1.8% fall compared with last year. In February 2016, average mortgage size dropped 5.3% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes gained from 70.5% in March 2015 to 83.3% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 16.7% of closings from 29.5% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 22.2% year-over-year to 1,538 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in March from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 26.5% of existing home closings, down from 27.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 12.0% in March from 10.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 14.5% from 17.4% a year earlier.

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